Too many people blog about the advantages of list building but very few talk about its disadvantages. Before you start building your own list, it’s important that you know the disadvantages.
1) List building is costly
When you first started in internet marketing, there are 3 things you are always advised to do. 1) Get a domain name, 2) get a server, and 3) get an autoresponder.
The first two are unavoidable, but autoresponder? Think again.
A decent autoresponder service like aweber.com will cost you $19.90/month for up to 500 subscribers. That’s 4 cents per subscriber per month.
How much juice can you squeeze from the same 500 subscribers every month?
The truth is your list will die faster than you think, not literally of course, but they will ignore your emails. It’s a blessing if they unsubscribe, because that means you can free up some space for more subscribers. But often, they simply remain in the list but ignore your emails. That’s bad because you are paying 4 cents every month for each of them!
If you are just starting out and still learning the ropes, and you want to build a list, I strongly suggest that you get a self-hosted autoresponder script, such as our MYOB listbuilder script which you can download free from your account. If your list grows too big, which is a good thing, you can always invest in a better script and a better hosting server.
2) List building is costly!
Even if you use a self-hosted autoresponder script, list building is still not free. It will cost you time, which is the most expensive thing in the world!
If you want to build relationship with your list, you will have to communicate with them via blog or newsletter. That will take you time to prepare.
If you don’t care about building relationship and simply want to flood them with deals and promotions, you will still have to spend time in finding those deals and preparing those emails.
You can set up autoresponder emails that last for years, but those contents will be outdated soon and you’ll still have to change the content every now and then.
The same amount of time you use to do all that could otherwise be used to create more websites or systems that can run on autopilot and make you more money automatically.
Having said that, nothing is really maintenance free. You just have to plan your list building campaign wisely so that it will not end up taking too much of your time.
So, should I build a list?
My purpose of sharing with you about the disadvantages of list building is not to discourage you from building lists, but to get you better prepared for what is going to come.
As I explained in this article, the key to building a lasting business is to keep building assets. And your list is your asset.
In fact, the challenge now is not just to build a list but to build a community. List building is just the first step.